The Maha Vikas Aghadi partners- Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress- on Tuesday raised an alarm over the arrears of Rs 73,879 crore as on July 2021 and debt and liabilities of Rs 45,440 crore as on August of the state-run power distribution company MahaVitaran saying that if the remedial measures are not taken the state will face blackouts and they will be wiped out politically in the upcoming elections. At the meeting chaired by the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray it was decided to appoint a consultant to suggest MahaVitaran's revival and improvement in its finances.
Energy Minister Nitin Raut squarely blamed the previous BJP government for the present state of MahaVitaran’s affairs. He said due to the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown the MahaVitaran could not recover arrears from various consumers which has surged to Rs 89,000 crore as on September.
Senior ministers including deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar and water resources minister Jayant Patil (NCP), public work minister Ashok Chavan, Vijay Wadettiwar and Sunil Kedar (Congress) and Subhash Desai and Dada Bhuse (Shiv Sena) said the MahaVitaran’s deteriorating finances is a wake up call and made a strong case for urgently taking a slew of measures to ensure safe and uninterrupted power without taking further dent. Pawar strongly rejected Energy Minister Nitin Raut’s proposal for the establishment of region-wise distribution companies saying that it would benefit retired IAS officers with their postings. Bhuse said the agriculture consumers should not be blamed for the present mess but they need to ensure adequate power supply.
Wadettiwar raised the contentious issue of lapses and financial losses in the coal procurement and supply while Chavan and Kedar emphasised the need for the MahaVitaran’s recovery. Desai pleaded for the reduction in power tariff charged to industry consumers which is high compared to other states.
Raut said the MahaVitaran purchases power from the state-run MahaGenco as well as the Central and private sector generating companies. However, in view of the shortfall in the recovery of power bills from the consumers and the subsequent revenue deficit, the MahaVitaran could not pay towards power purchase. Four private companies have demanded delayed power purchase charges from MahaVitaran.